This article series covers managing medical certifications under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Under the FMLA, you may require employees to submit medical certification for leave to care for their own serious health condition, to care for a covered family member with a serious health condition, or to care for a covered service member with a serious illness or injury. Employees are obligated to cooperate with you in obtaining such certifications.
The employee’s healthcare provider (HCP)—or the family or service member’s HCP—fills out a medical certification form and the answers help you determine if an illness meets the FMLA standards for serious health conditions.
Medical certification becomes essential when faced with an employee who claims you denied her legitimate leave request. The FMLA regulations outline the medical certification process, and with the regulations, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued optional forms that employers may choose to use. However, employers are allowed to create their own forms as long as they comply with the regulatory requirements.